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Working for UK co in USA

Working for UK co in USA

Old Feb 24th 2018, 9:37 pm
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Default Working for UK co in USA

Hi everyone,

I am married to an American and am in the process of applying for a green card. Once its issued, could i work for my London based employer on a contractual basis in the USA?

Thanks in advance.
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Old Feb 24th 2018, 9:51 pm
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Default Re: Working for UK co in USA

Originally Posted by Stewart J View Post
Hi everyone,

I am married to an American and am in the process of applying for a green card. Once its issued, could i work for my London based employer on a contractual basis in the USA?

Thanks in advance.
So you are residing in the US married to a US Citizen and will be applying for adjustment of status OR you are residing outside of the US and will be applying for an Immediate Relative Visa (CR-1 or IR-1).

Once you have permission to work from the USCIS, either an employment authorization card which is issued when you apply for adjustment of status or a green card after you have entered the US POE with a valid CR-1 or IR-1 visa, then yes, you can work for whomever you wish.
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Old Feb 25th 2018, 5:18 pm
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Default Re: Working for UK co in USA

Thanks very much, very helpful.
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Old Feb 25th 2018, 5:25 pm
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Default Re: Working for UK co in USA

Originally Posted by Stewart J View Post
Hi everyone,

I am married to an American and am in the process of applying for a green card. Once its issued, could i work for my London based employer on a contractual basis in the USA?

Thanks in advance.
As a contractor, yes, but not on the payroll.

You will be self employed (or through a personal service company/ LLC) the US, and pay income tax and SS contributions in the US. Then you will bill your "employer" in the UK for the gross payroll cost of your employment, i.e. including employer's NI, because you will have to pay employer's SS contributions as a self employed contractor in the US.
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Old Feb 25th 2018, 6:18 pm
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Default Re: Working for UK co in USA

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
As a contractor, yes, but not on the payroll.

You will be self employed (or through a personal service company/ LLC) the US, and pay income tax and SS contributions in the US. Then you will bill your "employer" in the UK for the gross payroll cost of your employment, i.e. including employer's NI, because you will have to pay employer's SS contributions as a self employed contractor in the US.
I'm not sure this is strictly true - I worked for my UK employer (which is a major US corporation) in the US & remained on UK payroll for well over a year, being paid in GBP.

I will concede though this does open up a whole bunch of complexities re: tax & social security in both countries. But it's definitely do-able.
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Old Feb 25th 2018, 6:21 pm
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Default Re: Working for UK co in USA

Originally Posted by TheKingOfHearts View Post
I'm not sure this is strictly true - I worked for my UK employer (which is a major US corporation) in the US & remained on UK payroll for well over a year, being paid in GBP.

I will concede though this does open up a whole bunch of complexities re: tax & social security in both countries. But it's definitely do-able.
Yeah, doable, but a tax minefield, and IMO only worth doing if the employer is footing the bill for the tax advice and you are 200% certain that your tax liability in the US is being fully covered. If your tax liabilities aren't being met it is you that the IRS will come after, not your employer in the UK.

Last edited by Pulaski; Feb 25th 2018 at 6:40 pm.
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Old Feb 25th 2018, 6:35 pm
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Default Re: Working for UK co in USA

Originally Posted by TheKingOfHearts View Post
I'm not sure this is strictly true - I worked for my UK employer (which is a major US corporation) in the US & remained on UK payroll for well over a year, being paid in GBP.

I will concede though this does open up a whole bunch of complexities re: tax & social security in both countries. But it's definitely do-able.

I agree with you. The green card/permanent residency will allow you to work for a foreign employer while you are residing in the US.

The issue of taxes is separate from the right to work. And was good of you both to point this out to the OP.
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Old Feb 25th 2018, 8:15 pm
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Default Re: Working for UK co in USA

I would just set up as self employed here. Very easy to do and allows you to claim a whole load of deductions. I've been through a similar thing in the last year and have now set up an LLC.

Generally speaking, charge at least double what they would pay you as an employee. Charge them in USD, let them do the conversions and get it paid directly into your US bank account.
You will pay income tax and self employment tax (instead of social security) but only on income after deductions. Don't forget that you will need to have health insurance - maybe you are covered on your wife's insurance?
I set up quite a good system for doing this and I think there is at least 1 more BE poster who bills out of the USA as a contractor too.

It's really easy to set up an LLC but you probably don't need to do it straightaway unless there is a chance of you being sued.
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Old Feb 26th 2018, 12:50 am
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Default Re: Working for UK co in USA

Originally Posted by TheKingOfHearts View Post
I'm not sure this is strictly true - I worked for my UK employer (which is a major US corporation) in the US & remained on UK payroll for well over a year, being paid in GBP.

I will concede though this does open up a whole bunch of complexities re: tax & social security in both countries. But it's definitely do-able.
This is a minefield that I would strongly, STRONGLY, recommend you get sorted out. You and your employer are both likely in violation of US tax rules and state tax rules, including unemployment insurance and workman's compensation. This is not something you should just "go with the flow" on but get sorted. There are limited exceptions (i.e. journalists, athletes, artists, etc) but I'm gathering you are not in those fields.

It is worth noting that tax evasion at a certain level is considered to be an "aggravated felony" which has resulted in deportation proceedings in some cases. A landmark case was decided about five years ago by the US Supreme Court where two permanent residents were ordered out due to tax evasion > $10,000 USD (note this case was a severe criminal tax evasion case, not a civil one, but it's definitely a minefield).

I would strongly recommend seeking some professional advice on this matter.

Immigrants face deportation for filing false tax return - latimes

https://www.taxpros.org/blog/tax-eva...r-aliens/30550

https://www.lexology.com/library/det...8-ce050e0497f1

Can you be deported for filing false tax returns? | Consumer

Last edited by penguinsix; Feb 26th 2018 at 12:55 am.
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Old Feb 26th 2018, 1:59 am
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Default Re: Working for UK co in USA

Originally Posted by penguinsix View Post
This is a minefield that I would strongly, STRONGLY, recommend you get sorted out.
Thank you for your concern, but PwC audited my federal taxes, Texas does not have state tax; I was on a worldwide health insurance policy and abided by the social security agreements in the US/UK tax treaty.

I do concede all of this is a pain in the ass; but it is technically possible and legal. Though I wouldn't recommend it to most, our company has being using this model for years on short term assignments, all are audited by PwC or KPMG and get signed off on from a tax perspective and Fragomen owns the immigration piece. You can't really get more expertise than that.
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Old Feb 26th 2018, 11:13 am
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Default Re: Working for UK co in USA

I'd get started using Pulaski and petitefrancaise's advice and go from there. Keep it simple.
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Old Feb 26th 2018, 2:19 pm
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Default Re: Working for UK co in USA

Originally Posted by TheKingOfHearts View Post
Thank you for your concern, but PwC audited my federal taxes, Texas does not have state tax; I was on a worldwide health insurance policy and abided by the social security agreements in the US/UK tax treaty.

I do concede all of this is a pain in the ass; but it is technically possible and legal. Though I wouldn't recommend it to most, our company has being using this model for years on short term assignments, all are audited by PwC or KPMG and get signed off on from a tax perspective and Fragomen owns the immigration piece. You can't really get more expertise than that.
That might well work since you are on a temporary work visa L1 ( you posted this back last year) and your company will pay out $$$ for all the accountancy bills to make sure you are legal - but for someone who will be a permanent resident and probably a citizen, then it is almost definitely minefield that is not worth bothering with.
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Old Feb 26th 2018, 6:48 pm
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Default Re: Working for UK co in USA

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
As a contractor, yes, but not on the payroll.

You will be self employed (or through a personal service company/ LLC) the US, and pay income tax and SS contributions in the US. Then you will bill your "employer" in the UK for the gross payroll cost of your employment, i.e. including employer's NI, because you will have to pay employer's SS contributions as a self employed contractor in the US.
Thanks. A slightly more technical follow up question.... we're moving from London. My understanding is that the greencard takes between 2 and 8 weeks to arrive once you enter the US. Would i be ok to work as a contractor for a British company during that period or do i need to wait for the greencard?
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Old Feb 26th 2018, 6:58 pm
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Default Re: Working for UK co in USA

Originally Posted by Stewart J View Post
Thanks. A slightly more technical follow up question.... we're moving from London. My understanding is that the greencard takes between 2 and 8 weeks to arrive once you enter the US. Would i be ok to work as a contractor for a British company during that period or do i need to wait for the greencard?
Assuming you are entering using a IR-1 or CR-1 visa then you will have the "permanent resident" status immediately when you are admitted to the USA. The physical green card is just proof of this status.

As such you have all the rights and privileges - including the right to work.
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Old Feb 26th 2018, 7:03 pm
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Default Re: Working for UK co in USA

Originally Posted by tom169 View Post
Assuming you are entering using a IR-1 or CR-1 visa then you will have the "permanent resident" status immediately when you are admitted to the USA. The physical green card is just proof of this status.

As such you have all the rights and privileges - including the right to work.
Thanks Tom. Very helpful. My employer ia a bank with a slightly anal hr and legal dept. Any ideas where i could go for a formal written legal opinion on what you've just stated?
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